Having a website is one thing. Having a successful site is another. If you’ve had a site online for at least year, you should be seeing progress toward success. If your results have been dismal, you’ll want to know what the problem is. Read on to find out how to measure success on your site and how to fix what’s not working.
Measuring Your Site’s Success
Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself:
- Is Google indexing your site properly?
- Are you watching your analytics to see who is coming to your site and how they’re finding you?
- What’s generating your traffic?
- Are you getting leads that are converting into clients and buyers?
Let’s take a look at each of these measurements.
Getting Your Site Found
The main goal of a site is to have it found, read, and acted upon. Meeting that goal starts with being found.
You can see how many pages of your site Google has indexed by going to http://www.google.com and then in the search field, type the following:
Substitute your domain for yoursite.com and leave off the www if you’re not using it.
Keep in mind that it takes Google about three months to fully index your site.
Register Your Site with Google
One of the best ways to ensure your site gets found in search results is to tell Google it exists. Register your site with Google Webmaster Tools. Plus, you’ll get all kinds of extra goodies that go deeper than your standard analytics, including being able to see what sites are linking back to you.
I use and recommend the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast to help Google index your site properly. (You can find it in the WordPress Plugin Repository and it’s free.) It simply beats the pants off any other SEO plugin, including the kind that’s built-in to some premium themes. And, it includes an XML sitemap that makes it easier for Google to index your site.
(Be careful. If you’re already using another SEO plugin and a plugin for a site map, you’ll want to ensure that you transfer the info from them over and then deactivate them properly. If you’re using All-in-One SEO Pack, here’s a post from Yoast on how to migrate to his WordPress SEO plugin.)
There is no SEO plugin that will help your site if you don’t configure it properly.
So, no matter what you use, keep up with changes in Google’s preferred ways
of doing things and set your plugin properties accordingly.
It also takes about three months for a new site to build up enough analytic data to see trends in your traffic and to know what your audience is responding to most. Plus, if you make any major changes to your site, it takes another three to six months to see their full affects in your analytics.
If you’re not paying attention to your analytics, you’re just shooting blind
with your posting efforts. You need that feedback to tell you what’s working and what’s not.
You also need to know where folks spend time on your site and where they leave it.
I use and recommend the Google Analyticator plugin to all of my clients because it places a module in your WordPress Dashboard that gives you a quick view of your analytics including top referrers and the posts and pages that are getting the most attention. (You can find it in the WordPress Plugin Repository and it’s free.)
No matter which analytics plugin you use, you’ll still need to visit your Google Analytics account to get the full story of what’s happening on your site.
Google does not own the Web and they are not the Internet police. But, if you want to be found via search engine results, it’s best to follow their rules. However, a search engine is not the only way to be found.
Participating in other online platforms brings traffic. Engaging folks via social media and in online groups is a great way to get found. The gold standard is by word-of-mouth referral. Until this year, that’s how BlogAid got most of its business leads. But now, referrals from online platforms are overtaking that stat.
Don’t Waste a Year
My clients enjoy hitting the ground running with market-ready content and search engine optimized sites the day they launch. My clients also do the real work of making it happen. They’re not just tip collectors.
If you don’t invest in your online education, you’ll waste at least a year of try-this-try-that and still never reach your site’s full potential. You could spend all of your time chasing rainbows that are no more than generic hype, or you could get help that is tailored to your unique site and audience. Getting a plan and putting it into action is what it takes to have a successful site.
Get the Right Help
Properly vet every coach, expert, and guru you follow or plan to hire to help you with your site. Do the same with every plugin and strategy someone tells you is important or will make your site better. See if it fits with your current plugins or overall strategy.
While there are some basic principles to follow, there is no magic bullet, no generic formula, and no one-size-fits all approach to having a successful site. I spend a LOT of time with my second site clients and site review clients cleaning up the mess that was made by not properly vetting each shiny new thing they added.
Understand what each plugin on your site does. Understand how each marketing strategy fits into the whole. It is the only way to have a successful site.
How’s Your Site Doing?
Are you paying attention to your analytics? Why or why not? Do you know what’s working on your site? Have you been ripped off by pie-in-the-sky promises and gimmicks? Leave a comment and let us know where you are in your site journey.
Are you ready to invest in your success? If you’re serious and ready to become
a confident, successful site owner, I can help you get the solid foundation you need.
See all of the WordPress Training options.